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Two photographs on card entitled Group of natives and Rev. J. Bulmer, and Mission house and church


Two photographs on card entitled Group of natives and Rev. J. Bulmer, and Mission house and church

Object information

Physical description

Two black and white photographs adhered on each side of a blue-grey card page which has a narrow strip of white fabric adhered to one side to form a hinge. Each photo has a caption typed on decorated white paper adhered beneath it. The photograph on one side is captioned "GROUP OF NATIVES AND REV. J. BULMER / This devoted missionary has spent more than forty years among these people, and no man is more highly esteemed among them than / the missionary himself." The photo shows a group of people posed in front of a pale weatherboard-style building with an arched door. Most of the people appear to be Aboriginal, wearing 19th century style clothing. Three women and nine men are standing and seated in front of them are five women and four children. In the background a single man is standing alone. The photograph on the opposite side is captioned "MISSION HOUSE AND CHURCH / Divine service is conducted twice every day, and the natives attend at the summons of the bell before and after work." The photograph shows two buildings, a house and a church, set amongst trees behind a white fence. There is a man standing at a gate leading to the house, and two women in aprons and a child are standing in front of the church.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of eight sepia-toned photographs mounted on each side of four 20 x15cm blue-grey cards. A printed caption on white paper is glued to the card mount beneath each photograph. A narrow strip of fabric which at one time formed an album page hinge is adhered to one edge of each card.

Nicholas Caire is one of the most widely published of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian photographers. Between 1875 and 1905 Caire travelled the countryside of Victoria to photograph scenery for the lucrative 'views' market. His love of the landscape enabled him to create images which earned him a loyal audience during his lifetime, and an enduring place as one of Australia's early nature photographers. Captivated by the beauty of the Gippsland region, Caire made repeated excursions into the lakes district, photographing the scenery for his 1886 Gippsland Scenery series of which this collection is a sample. By the late 1870s, photographs of the Gippsland Lakes were becoming increasingly popular in Melbourne, helping to generate a new tourist market for the region. One of the continuing themes of Caire's work was the Aboriginal people at Lake Tyers Aboriginal Mission station and their daily lives. These are the only known copies of these images.

Object information

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